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Black glass sphinx by John Derbyshire - £1900 at Bamfords.

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Of these, the most desirable and most expensive is the 10in (25cm) winged Theban Sphinx. The design, similar to one on the same Egyptian revival theme made by the Molineaux Webb factory, was registered on March 6, 1876, and made for perhaps just a year. Derbyshire, from a glassmaking family based in the Manchester area, used his own mark of an anchor superimposed on the letters JD used between 1873-76.

This black glass example, with a full set of marks and a registration lozenge (see detail) came for sale at Bamfords (21% buyer’s premium) in Derby on August 6. Modestly pitched at £100-150, it took £1900 – a hefty sum but not as much as another version of this model sold for £2600 at Fieldings in Stourbridge in 2017.

It is believed the mould for the sphinx was sold to Gateshead’s Davidson factory in 1893. Later models without the JD mark are thought to have been made by Davidson at this later date.